Wonder Woman rules.
No arguments. The annual is a series of touching stories that is almost equaled by the Trinity Annual.
The Flash was enjoyable too, I can’t wait to see how Reverse Flash is going to mess with Barry!
The hardest read was the Teen Titans Annual, more a case of too many cooks than a bad end to the Lazarus Contract though the ending wasn’t as shocking as I had hoped or DC had promised. Still enjoyable but the execution wasn’t great, I am not sure it was a worthy successor of the original story.
So it’s Themyscira all the way! (Guess what I’ll be watching in the cinema?) This is my look into the DC Universe this week.
The Flash #23
‘The Color Of Fear’ – Part 1: “Hello
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Cover by Carmine Di Giandomenico
It may be Barry’s birthday but he’s not in the mood to celebrate after recent trauma.
Wally, too, is not in the mood to be around Barry, as their rift grows wider with each day because of the secrets he is keeping from Iris. After Batman was tormented by Flashpoint, Barry is haunted by the fact his actions hurt those closest to him.
Hal Jordan stops by the party just Multiplex attacks searching for his estranged girlfriend. As the heroes suit up and take on the multiplying villain Iris and Wally race to safety only to find an uninvited guest waiting for them.
A series of unfortunate events pits Hal and Barry together, but to be honest I’ve been spoiled by television, I was hoping for Ollie to appear but we can’t have everything!
There are a lot of big, brash and explosive scenes this issue but at it’s heart, this is all about the inner torment of Barry Allen. It plays out well and genuinely, the ending was something I wasn’t expecting even though everything in the issue was obviously leading to it. Multiplex threw me off the trail, but his arrival made the ending even more fantastic.
Wonder Woman Annual #1
‘And Then There Were Three…’, ‘In Defence Of Truth And Justice’, ‘The Curse And The Honor’, ‘The Last Kaiju’
Written by Greg Rucka, Vita Ayala, Michael Moreci, Colin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing
Art by Nicola Scott, Claire Roe, Stephanie Hans, David Lafuente
Cover by Nicola Scott & Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Following Diana’s debut in Wonder Woman: Year One, Lois and Clark race for the exclusive on the Amazonian princess while Batman watches the media footage with suspicion.
Batman and Superman use their unique skills to chase down leads until they track Diana down to a site in Nevada. Wonder Woman reveals herself to the spying duo and using the Lasso of Truth makes a connection with them, creating a literal circle of trust. A bond that would be everlasting…
Next is a tale set in Markovia, during the execution of King Shark for his murder of General Laurent.
The problem is only one witness, Captain Beckers stands in the way of the execution and none is prepared to listen… except Wonder Woman. When King Shark breaks free of his bonds, Diana is forced to intervene, but is Beckers telling the truth and will Diana win the day?
Kikori asks Steve Trevor for help and Diana arrives to help. It is revealed that the village suffered a curse but Kikori absorbed it in order to save his village and now the only way to defeat it is to kill Kikori. Diana is hesitant as Kikori begins to embody the curse as a giant feral beast. The fight is brutal and Diana must make a terrible decision, save Kikori, the village or find another way.
The final tale has a Kaiju causing destruction as it fights off action from Argus soldiers. Diana intervenes but despite its actions the Kaiju speaks a language the Princess recognises. Suddenly Wonder Woman switches sides fighting Argus, but is all as it seems? Only Diana can end the conflict and reveal the truth.
Four unrelated stories but all showing different aspects of Diana’s character. I am not sure the King Shark story worked very well, but the two that really touched me as a reader were ‘And Then There Were Three’ and ‘The Last Kaiju’ were illustrative of how unrelentingly good Wonder Woman is and how strong of heart she is. Then there is ‘The Curse And The Honor’ which shows another facet of her character. A brilliant read I recommend to anyone, even if you aren’t a Wonder Woman fan.
I wont trash Batman V. Superman for its uniting of the Trinity but going down the understated route made for a really strong story.
Teen Titans Annual #1
‘The Lazarus Contract’ – Conclusion
Written by Christopher Priest, Benjamin Percy & Dan Abnett
Art by Paul Pelletier
Inks by Andrew Hennessy
Cover by Mike McKone & Alex Sinclair
This is it! “THE LAZARUS CONTRACT” has been building up through Titans #11, Teen Titans #8 & Deathstroke #19 but it ends here and now in fact, with no recap you’re going to have to go read these.
The story begins with the Titans & Teen Titans in pursuit of Deathstroke after Wally was tricked out of his Kid Flash super speed.
Slade is determined to save Grant from H.I.V.E. but with multiple timeless and planes of existence at play and the two teams of heroes intent on catching up with him it escalates to stakes higher than even they suspected.
Damian takes rash steps that alters time itself and with both Wally Wests life also hanging in the balance. By the end of the conflict the ultimate price is paid and Slade witnesses things no man should ever see while traveling in the Speed Force. The result is one that shocks both the Titans and Teen Titans to their very core and the end of a career.
I’m old enough to remember the original, even the recent animated movie. Was this as good? The answer is no. Was it a good story regardless? Definitely!
Perhaps what killed it for me was the fact I am old enough to remember the original. This was definitely an epic story and with any other story title and it might have really have resonated with me.
Trinity Annual #1
‘Tied Together’ – Trinity #7 follow up
Written by Rob Williams
Artist Guillem March
Cover by Guillem March & Tomeu Morey
Lex Luthor may have turned his back on Circe and Ra’s Al Ghul but they are still intent on destroying the Trinity. Ra’s incorrectly deduces that the Trinity exists because of their strength in numbers. Circe points out if that they are part of a pantheon in the form of the Justice League and that fate is the root of their bond.
Ra’s questions their Unholy Trinity now Luthor has abandoned them and Circe says despite Luthor’s actions they too are tied by fate and uses the Pandora Pits to put a new plan into action. As Jason Blood finds himself drawn to their location the plan escalates and Circe uses the Pits magic to separate Etrigan from his human host.
Etrigan now completely free wastes no time ravaging the greek isles as Jason slowly begins to age and die.
Enter the Trinity, in a mission to save civilians, defeat the demon and reunite Etrigan with his human tether. Who will win, the Trinity or their Unholy reflection and what do Bizarro, Red Hood and Artemis have to do with the future of both their fates?
This was a story I was waiting for. I loved Trinity #7 and loved that this finally followed up on the threads dangling from that. I’m not sure Etrigan would have been the route to go with, though it worked well with the theme of fate that ran through the story.
I was hoping the Composite Trinity would have been Circe’s weapon of choice. Comixology hinted at a different direction also which probably would have had Lex Luthor fans up in arms but overall it was a great story that worked to each individuals strength and I’m really excited that hasn’t ended here and the Unholy Trinity are a concept I find fascinating.